Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Acts 25 - 26

Today I enjoyed reading Acts 25 & 26.  I realized that I should live my life so that even if men may accuse me of crimes that they may not be able to prove them.  25:7 says "And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove."  Additionally, 25:25 says "But when I [Festus] found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him.

Yet at the same time if I do wrong, I should be willing to accept my punishment:
Verse 25:11 says "For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worth of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man my deliver me unto them.  I appeal unto Cesar.

I also realized that I should not live my life according to a religion but instead live my life according to Jesus.  Paul says in 26:4-5 "My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee."  After describing his encounter on the road to Damascus, he says in vs. 19-20 "Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:  But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance."  After his encounter with the Lord, Paul stopped persecuting the believers and followed after Jesus himself, no matter the cost.  I need to do the same.

This brings to mind the sermon Preacher gave Sunday night during our tent service.  The key verse was Luke 9:2 - "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."  A disciple of Christ needs to decide (if ... will) to direct his life after Jesus (come after me ... follow me), deny himself, and die to self (take up his cross) daily.  I wrote this phrase on my mirror so I can see it every day. 

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